Twitter has addressed a privacy bug that exposed email addresses and phone numbers associated with roughly 10,000 user accounts.
According to the social media company, the flaw affected its password recovery system for approximately 24 hours last week. Users whose accounts were exposed have been notified.
Twitter pointed out that the vulnerability could not be exploited to obtain passwords or other information that could be used to directly access accounts.
“We take these incidents very seriously, and we’re sorry this occurred. Any user that we find to have exploited the bug to access another account’s information will be permanently suspended, and we will also be engaging law enforcement as appropriate so they may conduct a thorough investigation and bring charges as warranted,” Michael Coates, Twitter’s trust & info security officer, said in a blog post.
It’s clear that at least some people exploited this bug to obtain other users’ details. Cyber War News reported on February 10 that a Twitter user had boasted about being able to obtain email addresses and phone numbers linked to Twitter accounts. He backed his claims by posting the details of several users.
Twitter apparently made good on its promise because all accounts used at the time by the “hacker” have been suspended.
The company took this opportunity to remind users about the importance of a good account security hygiene and advised them to use strong passwords, revoke the privileges of third-party apps they don’t recognize, enable two-step authentication, review account logins for any suspicious activity, and require additional info when the password reset feature is used.
Twitter has made several security-related announcements over the past few months. The company has started warning users when their accounts might be targeted by state-sponsored attackers, and announced the formation of the Twitter Trust & Safety Council, whose goal is to boost users’ trust across the social network.